Today’s post is part of Indie Life, a blog hop for independent authors hosted by the Indelibles. Click here to see a list of participating blogs.
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but your cover art is worth much more than that. Potential readers might not even bother to look at your book (much less buy it) if the cover doesn’t somehow catch their attention. When I first started my indie life journey about two years ago, someone told me that I must hire a professional editor and I must hire a professional illustrator. I chuckled at the time because I am a professional illustrator, or at least a semi-professional illustrator. How hard could it be to do my own cover?
It wasn’t until I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and started thinking about how this one illustration—this one illustration!—could make or break the success of my first book and perhaps my whole career as a writer that I began to freak out. I started sketching, then I stopped and started over, then I stopped and started over again. Normally a project like this would take me a week, two weeks maximum, but this illustration took almost a full year.
Drawing and painting have always been easier for me than writing, but this was worse than any writer’s block I’ve ever experienced. Many times, I wondered if I should give up and hire someone less personally involved in my book to do the cover for me. I knew perfectly well that was the only reason I was struggling. But I kept working on it, and as of this past Sunday I finally finished. Here is the long awaited cover art for Tomorrow News Network: Volume One. Please let me know what you think!
As for the editing, I did hire a professional to help me with that. Even if I were a professional editor, I wouldn’t trust myself to catch all the mistakes in my own manuscript. For that, you need a genuine outsider’s perspective. So far, the editing process has been far less stressful than doing my own cover art. I’m happy to announce that, while I still don’t know the exact date yet, the day my book comes out is tantalizingly close!
P.S.: If you’re in need of an illustrator, my services are now available. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. I promise it won’t take me a full year to do your cover art; I’d only inflict that kind of delay on myself.